M/W

Virgin Trains USA, Morgan Stanley: $1.75B in PABs

Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) has closed on $1.75 billion in private activity bonds (PABs) underwritten by Morgan Stanley and purchased by 67 different investors to help fund the company’s expansion from West Palm Beach, on the Florida East Coast Railway, to Orlando. Virgin described the closing as “one of the largest PAB transactions to date.”

NRC ousts CCH

The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) is severing ties with Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell LLC (CCH), the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm that has been managing NRC’s operations for the past 15 years.

Improving railroad cyber-threat resilience

Railroads are a critical component of America’s transportation infrastructure, and have been making significant investments in advanced networked computer control systems and information technologies. This has enabled the employment of new capabilities such as “Positive Train Control and “Precision Railroading” with increased operational efficiencies and improvements in safety. However, the introduction of these new technologies also results in increased organizational and system vulnerabilities to disruption arising from cyberattacks .

ASLRRA honors Gilbertson, safety leaders

At its 2019 CONNECTIONS Convention in Orlando, Fla., the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) presented Peter A. Gilbertson, President and CEO of Anacostia Rail Holdings Co., with the 2019 Thomas L. Schlosser Distinguished Service Award, and honored Cleo Johnson, Jr., Maintenance-of-Way Foreman, Mississippi Export Railroad, was as Safety Person of the Year and David Nagy, Executive Director of Safety, Springfield Terminal d/b/a Pan Am Railway, as Safety Professional of the Year.

Baker to Congress: Don’t be short-sighted about short lines

When last we heard from American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) President Chuck Baker, he was testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety on the role Class II and III railroads play in supporting intermodal connections across the U.S. surface transportation network. He also urged support for the Short Line 45-G Tax Credit.

NJT packs ’em in with $800MM in contracting plans

For New Jersey Transit, the days of subsisting on a starvation capital diet imposed by former Gov. Chris Christie appear over. On March 26, the agency hosted an open house for prime contractors, small businesses and DBEs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises), the first such event in 10 years. On the table: More than $800 million in contracting opportunities for capital projects that will be available in the upcoming year.